There are always adjustments when a team has a huge turnover in its roster from season to season and when you have those mass departures due to graduation and transfers, it's good to have good leaders to help everyone come together.
At Cameron University there are two seniors in that group, one being four-year letter winner Joanie Dubberly.
The Lee's Summit, Mo., native hasn't accumulated massive statistics during her four-year career, but she's always wearing a smile and doing her part to keep her teammates motivated and playing together, something that is tough to do when seven new players come into the program.
"My best friend is Julisa (Ocasio) and we both tried to be good leaders during the spring because that was when we were all starting to work together for the first time," Dubberly said after helping the Aggies rout Southeastern Thursday night in the Aggie Gym. "You have transfers coming in and they are trying to get adjusted to our program and you have to make them feel comfortable and Julisa and I have always tried to step up and talk with everyone and try to keep them motivated during those tough practices in the spring.
"Then when school started in the fall, we had to think about the freshmen and we tried to talk to them and explain how things would be. It's easy for a freshman to get in a shell if they don't feel comfortable, but our team just seemed to come together without any big problems. Everyone likes each other and that's important."
As the only seniors on the team, Dubberly and Ocasio are trying their best to rally the underclassmen and make a final drive to reach the Lone Star Tournament but the path isn't going to be easy, especially with a huge challenge tonight at 7 p.m. in the Aggie Gym against powerful West Texas A&M which is currently third in the standings.
"It's everyone's dream to go to the conference tournament their senior year," Dubberly said. "The thing that has hurt us this year is injuries; we've had some really bad injuries that have kept some of our better hitters on the bench. We still have a chance to make the tournament but it's going to take some big wins. That's when our leadership is especially important, when the situation looks bad. It's easy to lose hope, but we're trying to keep everyone motivated these last few matches."
Having been around the program for four years, Dubberly knows the ins and outs when it comes to LSC volleyball and she knows where the Aggies missed their opportunity to make a big move up the standings.
"I think the match that hurt us the most was in Kingsville (Texas)," she said. "We had beaten Incarnate Word the night before and that helped us a great deal. But we then go to Kingsville the next day and lose. That really hurt our chances. The bad thing was we had beaten them (Javelinas) at home and we should have beaten them down there but we just didn't play very well."